Monday, June 20, 2016

Year End Camping Trip

As the semester has come to an end the last thing we did as a class for the last couple of days of school was have a Year End Camping trip at Rattlesnake Point on Osoyoos Lake. We spent the past week planning and figuring out what we had to bring and I assigned jobs on what each student was responsible for and what equipment they should bring before hand so they didn't forget it the day of.

After packing the bus we were off to have a nice fun time at the beach.

One group of boys Justice, Alex, and Jonah were very adamant about using their 10 person tent for just the three of them. They almost gave up and were thinking about using a smaller tent but after some of there classmates and myself came to help we were able to figure out how to set up their massive tent. At least they don't have to worry about bumping into each other at night. 

At first after we had set up all of our tents some of the students were content with just lounging back and relaxing enjoying the outdoors.

We brought some sports equipment with us to keep us occupied during the day. So we had a bocce and volleyball tournament. Played some badminton with our makeshift net and string. Then some were content with throwing around a football and frisbee to each other. 

There was currently a fire ban in the area so we couldn't have a good old camp fire and roast some marshmallows but I had brought a small propane fire pit so we could still sit around a fire and keep warm later when it got dark.

As it was getting dark the weather looked like it was going to turn for the worse and it seemed like we were going to get rained on and then around 10:30pm it started to rain so the kids decided it was a good time to go to bed. 

Then around 12:30am I suddenly woke up and hear hear voices of all my students and I was wondering what in the world were they doing and hopefully it was something they shouldn't be doing. So I got out of my tent and they all came towards me and said they were going to wake me up and surprise me and then they all thanked me for being their teacher in EPIC and taking them out camping. This moment here just brought everything together for me as the students were showing me that they have enjoyed the EPIC program and that it has been a success.

Then in the morning I got everything ready for breakfast and we cooked up some bacon, hash browns and, pancakes. It didn't take long for the students to take down their tents and pack up their stuff, tricky part was trying to get it back into the bus. Then we did a full clean of the area and we were going to head back to the high school and be there around lunch time. Before we left I did a sweep of the area just to make sure all the garbage was picked up and to make sure that nobody left anything behind. Then sure enough Taylor left here sunglasses laying in the grass and she didn't even notice that they were gone.

Then coming back into the school we unloaded the bus and brought everything back into the classroom. Then we didn't have much to do for the last part of the day so the students cleaned out their lockers and we helped bring desks into the small gym for the final exams. Then when the bell rung it was a bit sad seeing my EPIC students leave for the last time, as we became quite close being with each other all day and everyday throughout the semester.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Playing with the kindergartens next door at OES

Today my students had the opportunity to spend some time with the kindergarten kids next door at OES and have a fun afternoon with them doing various fun activities. We broke up into groups so some were playing hockey, blowing bubbles, tossing wiffle balls with scoops, playing with a parachute. My students got right into it and it seemed as though some of my students were getting more into it than the kindergartens.

Here is a video of the parachute in action. Taylor was leading this activity as she remembered using it as a kid went she was in elementary school and she knew a lot of different games you could do with it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

School Spirit Day

Through the year we have had various Spirit Days to have fun with the students and get get them to show their school spirit. The school was broken up into 4 teams by colour White, Yellow, Black, and Green. To show their school spirit students dressed up in their team colours to prepare for the event. Today was the last one of the year. We had five different events, which were:
1) Water Balloon Toss
2) Nascar Pit Crew
3) Obstacle Course
4) Recycling Challenge
5) Tug of War

I was in charge of the obstacle course and here is a video one one of the students running through it.

The event that everyone was looking forward to was the Tug of War. This wasn't just any old Tug of War with two teams, as we had a special rope that allowed us to have all 4 teams in the Tug of War. We did it 5 times one for each grade. Not to brag at all but my team the yellow team one 3/5 times for grades 9,10,11. 

Here is a video of the Tug of War in action and me encouraging my team on.

Sadly yellow didn't come out with the win as White had the most points but we were not far behind them in second place.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Trip to Spotted Lake

Today we went for a little field trip to spotted lake to show the students this unique/amazing lake and to talk to them about about its historical significance and how it was important for the local First Nations people.

What actually happens with the lake is that it is comprised of many different and highly concentrated minerals. Magnesium, Calcium and Sodium Sulfates are some of the largest minerals included here. In the summer months most of the lake water evaporates and leaves the minerals behind. These minerals crystallize and large spots begin to appears. The colours will vary as each spot will change as the mineral composition changes at different times throughout the summer. This colourful lake, know to the First Nations People as 'Khiluk', was considered a sacred site. The waters were therapeutic and had healing powers to them. There were even truces made between tribes at war so that the warriors could visit the lake and heal their wounds. There are 365 spots in total representing each day of the year. It is said that if you have an injury or are suffering from some kind of ailment you can go to the lake and you will find the right spot you seek to be healed.

The lake still looked amazing but since there was a lot of water in the lake the spots were not as prominent as they could have been if the water level was lower.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Fun Day Friday - Paper/Wood Building Challenges

Today we spent that day working on two building challenges to see how well the students could use their imagination and ingenuity to create a paper structure and a wooden Bridge.

First was the paper structure challenge. Each group was given 30 sheets of paper and with a roll of masking tape they needed to create some kind of structure that had to be at least 12 inches tall and support the most amount of weight possible. Each group went with a different design so it was going to be interesting to see which one could hold the most amount of weight.

Now it came time to test out the structures and to test out how much weight they could hold we stacked old textbooks on top of them. The students were very surprised in how much weight some flimsy pieces of paper could hold when they formed to shapes. In the end the all girls group came on top having a grand total of 17 books stacked on top of their structure. We ran out of books but I am sure we could have put a lot more on top of it.

Next was the wooden bridge building challenge. Using thin pieces of wood that I cut from the table saw and a glue gun students had to create a bridges that went from one shop table to the other. The only restrictions were that they could only have two pieces that went from one table to the other and the rest of the bridge had to be made from smaller pieces. 

To test out the bridges strength we attached a plywood platform to the bridges suspended by some string. Then we would stack pieces of wood on the platform to see how much each of them could hold. Here is the group with the strongest bridge.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Volunteering at Tuc-el-nuit's Splash and Dash Event

On Wednesday the principal of Tuc-el-nuit Shandah Benoit emailed me and asked if our class would be interested in volunteering in their splash and dash event coming up this Friday. This looked like a great opportunity for my class by be more involved with the community and show how they could be great role models and leaders for the elementary kids, so I said we would be glad to help out.

We got to Tuc-el-nuit and I was greeted by my older cousin Courtney who was one of the parents volunteers helping out in the event as well. So while we waited for Shendah to come she gave me a quick explanation of how the event was supposed to go and what the kids would be doing.

When Shendah came she introduced herself to my EPIC students and she was thrilled to see us there and was very happy that we were able to help out, as she didn't know that she was going to have enough people to help out f our class didn't show up.

The Splash and Dash it was a little activity to introduce the elementary students to triathlons and to show them what it is like to be a triathlete. This only had two of the three components of a triathlon and for this event they only did the swim/running parts of it. Student's started by running through the water along the beach and then getting out and quickly drying their feet off so that they could put their shoes on and get to the run portion of the course. For the younger kids from grades K-2 they only had to run back to the school. For the older kids from grades 3-7 they had to run around the block down by East Side and come back around to the school. No where near what it would be like compared to the real thing but it was a great way to introduce students to the sport.

For this event my students were stationed all throughout the course. Some were at the start of the course help the younger kids find their shoes, as the entire school participated and there were shoes everywhere and organized be grade. Then there were a couple more stationed and the first intersection and they were in charge of directing/stopping traffic when the kids needed to cross the road. Then at each turn of the run we had some more students positioned to direct the kids so they would know which way to go. Finally at the finish line we had a few students with some coolers and they were there to hand out ice-cream to all the students who crossed the finish line. Then after everything was over we helped out with packing everything up and dismantling the start and finish lines and loaded everything back up into Shendah's trailer.

Afterwards Shendah thanked our class again and said that she didn't know if it was going to be able to run as smoothly if our class wasn't able to come out and help out. Were we more than happy to help and it was a great way to end our Friday and head into the weekend.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Fun Day Friday / Mr. Baptiste's Birthday

On Wednesday and Thursday we planned a fun day for Friday since it was my birthday. As a class we decided to watch a movie and go down to Rattlesnake Canyon in Osoyoos followed by going to Dairy Queen for lunch then come back to school. 

We started off our day by watching Lone Ranger and we only had time to watch it for an hour as we were to be at Rattlesnake Canyon at 10:00am

I play baseball with Paul the owner of Rattlesnake Canyon and after talking with him he said he would be happy to have our class come down for the day. When we first got down Paul talked to the kids and asked that they break up into three groups to start with the first group mini golfing, the second group on the rides and the third group at the go karts.

At 12:30 Paul said that we could have a break for lunch and he decided to open up the Windmill so that if anyone wanted to get ice-cream they could get some, who wouldn't when there was 48 flavours to choose from.

For most of the time we spent there I would say most people chose to ride the go karts and go on the rides for most of the time. Here is a video of me using my GoPro on the go karts passing all there kids showing them how to drive. I let Alex and Justice use my GoPro and they go some good videos of them driving around including me using the pit maneuver to get by them.

Before we left we all played one more round of mini golf and I was able to get a video of myself getting a hole in one on one of the holes.